IN A stunning coup for Ipswich, Asahi Beverages are set to base a major distribution centre at the Redbank industrial estate.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he had worked on securing Asahi, who bought Schweppes in 2009, for months.
Cr Pisasale said Asahi had entered a heads of agreement with industrial developers Goodman to construct a $50 million-plus building on the massive Redbank Motorway estate site north of the railway line.
"Asahi have reviewed their manufacturing and distribution operations nationally and they see Ipswich as the ideal place where they can have a major distribution centre," Cr Pisasale said.
"From what they have told me it will give them a great opportunity to expand in future and from their Redbank base they can serve their customers better and improve their operations across the board.
"This is a wonderful long term investment in the city and will bring hundreds and hundreds of jobs to Ipswich.
"We will be welcoming families and making them feel at home in Ipswich.
"The distribution centre will be located on a 40,000 square metre parcel of land with the building taking up half of that.
"Four football fields could fit inside the building, which will cost over $50 million.
"I have worked closely with the state manager of Goodman, Daniel Brekan who has always made sure that our city benefits from developments such as this.
"Goodman is one of the largest industrial developers in the world and they have brought DB Schenker, TNT and Northline to Redbank.
"They have just taken over the Aurizon site.
"They want to make this industrial area one of the biggest job generators in the country."
Cr Pisasale said Ipswich had done well to secure the project, after Logan looked set to be the location of the distribution centre.
"The Financial Review reported a few weeks ago that Asahi was going to Heathwood in Logan, but we didn't give up," he said.
"We kept working on it and Daniel Brekan was determined to show that Redbank was the best site, and it is.
"We are perfectly positioned to major highways and to the airport.
"Cr Paul Tully has put a team together that has worked tirelessly to show how we can do this development.
"What I love about this project is that it will mean more jobs for our young people."
Cr Tully, the city's planning boss and Division 2 councillor, said the development was "a major boost for the Ipswich economy and a great job generator for the Redbank area".
"This is part of my vision for the Redbank Motorway estate with a strong emphasis on genuine local employment opportunities," Cr Tully said.
"This announcement is great news for a precinct which was just a collection of cow paddocks five years ago."
Cr Tully has provided the QT with a fascinating historical perspective on the site.
"This is where the former National Party government tried to build a radioactive waste dump in 1988, a plan scrapped a year later by the Goss Labor government," he said.
"Over 200 people including myself and Victor Attwood were arrested fighting alongside local residents to stop the dump.
"They were trumped up charges thrown out by the courts.
"In my case, the court dismissed the charge of being found on an enclosed garden or vacant land as there were no horse stables or servants' quarters as required under the English Vagrancy Act of 1824, on which the Queensland legislation was modelled."